WAR – The Other Stuff I Saw

I started off to write a piece about my impression after the Warhammer Preview Weekend.  Once I got through with the races and classes section however, I realized that it had legs of its own and cut it free of the rest of my post.  It never pays to cram too much into an article.

So this is the balance of my impressions, which probably still crams too much into one article.

Sudden Exposure

There certainly isn’t much there to guide you into the game.  Once you create a character and enter the game, you’re in the game and on your own.  No tutorial, newbie tips, or anything of the kind that I noticed.

Did I miss something?  Is there a feature to be implemented there or is WAR only targeted at those who have experience in the genre?  Or, heaven help us, does Mythic think that the operation of the game is so self evident that no intro is needed?

Having gotten into EverQuest in 1999, the transition into the game was not so bad.  I was able to figure out pretty quick that the green dot on the mini map was somebody with a quest for me, the orange dot was where to turn in a completed quest and a yellow dot was an as-yet-unsatisfied quest giver.

Why bother with the yellow dots?  Somebody at Mythic has a different relationship with quest givers than I do, since I only want them cluttering up my mini map when we have business to transact.  Can we lose the yellow dots?

Also  how about a little better physical orientation when you first jump into the game?  Of the eight classes I played over the preview weekend, all but one of them started in the game facing directly away from the first quest giver.  Only the black orc was looking in the right direction.  Of course, your tendency is to move forward when you enter the game, so I found myself running away from the first quest almost immediately.

And, for those keeping score, the reward for the first quest appears to be a new pair of shoes in all cases.

Tome of Knowledge

One of the two features being held up as the future of MMORPG design, I can see the point.  Sort of.  It consolidates in one area all the data that you would need to open 8-16 windows and run half a dozen slash commands to get in most MMOs. (And probably 100+ windows in EVE!)

And while I appreciate that consolidation, now I just have a more specific place to search through looking for the information I need.  Sometimes a window to itself is better than having to dig through half a dozen mouse clicks to find something.  For starters, and you can tag me as “Mr. PvE,” I want to get to my quest log with just one key stroke, thank you very much, not have to open the Tome and click a few times to see what I have on the menu.

So, I’ll rank this as good, but perhaps not as startlingly awesome as some would have you believe.

And I expect that somebody will say that the lack of tutorial I mentioned above is the result of having the Tome of Knowledge, which contains the answers to everything.

To that I can only ask, how well does RTFM work as an answer in your world?  Because it doesn’t fare so well in mine, so RTFVM isn’t going to fly. (V is for virtual for those who are still in shock after following that link and finding out what the F stood for.)

Public Quests

This is one of the things over which everybody has been fawning and making claims like:

Public Quests > Sliced Bread

To be honest, I did not really “get” what a public quest was until I actually found one.  Everybody goes on and on about how wonderful they are, but apparently cannot explain them very well. (It certainly couldn’t be my fault, right?)

Basically if you wander into the right geographic area, you will be notified in HUGE letters that you have entered a Public Quest area and what stage said Public Quest is in.

Feel free to join in.

I only got involved with two Public Quests, but as any student can tell you, two points of data is the most effecient way to draw a straight line to a conclusion.

That in mind, the pattern I got with public quests were that they fell into five parts.

The first part, you run around and kill some soloable mobs.  Everybody do their own thing.

The second part, you kill some mobs that you probably cannot solo.  People need to gang up on things.

The third part is some huge encounter that everybody needs to join in with to take down.

The fourth part is the loot distribution.  There is a lotto that everybody gets a chance at, but your odds are improved the more you contributed to the battle.  Some will win, most will lose.

And, the fifth and final part is a short wait until the cycle starts over again.

This is supposed to encourage community and cooperation.  It does so about as well as WoW battlegrounds do, from my own limited observations.  Everybody ran about in a mad rush at each stage with no plan or order.  However, the “everybody” was enough people that we defeated each stage and nobody died.

Public Quests are also supposed to give you some PvE content besides… well… regular quests.

Public quests score a little better in that regard.  There is something neat about running into this sort of encounter.  It is very dynamic… at least it is the first few times.  The encounter is exactly the same each time.  I am more of a “finish a quest and move on” sort of person, so I stayed through three cycles at each and went off to other activities.

Finally, there is the loot.  At the end of the quest you get told your ranking for you contribution.  I managed to get the number 2 spot in one public quest.  Being higher in the ranking improves your odds, or so I hear.  Then they draw for a couple tiers of loot.  I hit the second tier on the same one where I was ranked second.

If you win the loot lotto, you get to pick from a wide selection of items, including a “just give me some cash” option at the bottom.  The items were pretty good for my level and being able to select from a list was very nice.

Of course, if you don’t win, you get nothing, not even a couple of brass coins for your time or a crappy home version of the quest.

I am going to bet that, within a year, that will change and that public quests will give all participants something, cash or some token redeemable for prizes when accumulated in mass quantities.

All in all though, it is something new and interesting for the genre.

Off on a tangent for a moment.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Paul Barnett say that other games could copy the Public Quests, but they would never be as good because they weren’t integrated into the game from the outset or some such nonsense?  I didn’t dream that, did I?

Sorry Paul.  Public Quests are really a splendid idea, but Rob Pardo could make them appear in WoW with the expansion after next (tentative title: The Lukewarm Malaise) with a mere wave of his hand and they would probably be better, faster, and hand out fabulous welfare epics to everybody who participated.  Be satisfied that you were first, don’t try to stake out being best now and forever.

Unless he didn’t say that, in which case, never mind.

The Environment

War is certainly everywhere.  Let’s hear it for truth in advertising.  In almost all cases when I went into the game with a new character, stuff was on fire, things were exploding, and fighting was within sight.

The dwarves had squigs in the compound. It is no wonder they were running around in their night shirts.

The greenskins were facing a drunken onslaught, literally 20 paces from where you start, by dwarves who had apparently drawn the short straw so it was their turn in the barrel.

In The Empire the homes on the edge of the starting town were ablaze and overrun with Chaos!

And the high elves… they had some sort of fairy infestation issue going on and a lot of white lion crap right out in the road where you might step in it.

Okay, they high elves had bad stuff too, things on fire, bad guys running around, men down… er, elves down, and all that, but it was a bit further away than some of the other starting areas.  But you did have to kill some fairies first, once you learned to distinguish them from the high elves.

Anyway, you were put right into some very active environments, and they looked very good.  They all had a good organic feel to them.  I would put the graphic style more in the LOTRO end of the scale, though the WAR graphics engine handles things a bit more smoothly with things at a distance.  It did not look or feel like WoW to me, which you can take either as a compliment or an insult.  It can be both, believe me.

The Interface

I happened to play WAR, then WoW, then WAR again at one point over the weekend, so I had a pretty solid comparison in the responsiveness of the UI.  While I think WAR feels a lot better than LOTRO did on day one, it still isn’t up there with WoW yet.  The button bar is close, but some clicking on objects in the window wasn’t very snappy, and dealing with things in my inventory was almost painful.  Work needs to be done on this.

The interface itself is pretty standard.  Button bar at the bottom, minimap in the upper right, text chat box in the lower left, quest tracker text appears below the minimap, and so on.  I did have to scale it down quite a bit, as everything seemed HUGE on my 1600×1200 monitor.

Things moved in odd ways when I changed the scale a few times and I had to go into Mythic’s Interface Construction Set to get things lined up again properly.  That seems like a whole lot of tool to do the simple things I wanted.  Generally I keep the game interface as close to default as I can, since updates happen that break things or reinstalls are required once in a while and I get tired of resetting things yet again.

Stability & Performance

In more than six hours of play, I did not see the dread crash to desktop.  Go me.

Friday night was lag central on the server I chose.  I varied servers as well as classes, just in case I was on a bad one at some point, but after Friday night things seemed to run well enough.

The game ran well on my 2.4GHz QuadCore with 2GB of RAM and a 512MB 8800GT video card.  But it had bloody well better!

Best Feature

I just wanted to say that the method used to mark the game map and minimap for quests is just right.  A red border on the map surrounds the area you need to get to in order to complete your task.  And, if you are like me and grabbed all the quests you could so have red marks all over your map, mousing over them puts up a hover help window with the name or names of the quests in that give red zone.

Well done Mythic.

Most of the time when I go to some web site for quest information, it is to get a general location.  I would rank this well ahead of the Tome of Knowledge for things other games should copy.  Free me from external web sites and addons like Quest Helper!

Things I Didn’t Do

I did not do any PvP, RvR, or anything else I did not mention.  I’ll save all that for when the game goes live.  I chose to use the preview weekend to explore somewhat mundane things.  I’ve already pre-ordered the collectors edition and entered the keys.  I am committed.  I’m gonna play.  There is no point in trying to rush through everything in just a weekend.

Conclusion

Was it fun?

Well, you know, I wasn’t beside myself to stay logged into the game.  I didn’t play every possible hour I could. I didn’t lose track of time (Mythic, a clock please) and stay up way too late playing.  It wasn’t day one EverQuest where I wanted to stick that needle in my vein and never pull it out.

But I did try to log in on Monday evening, just to see if the servers were still up.

They weren’t.  Darn.

We’ll see in September.

In the mean time, we return you to your normally scheduled nonsense.

55 thoughts on “WAR – The Other Stuff I Saw

  1. Hudson

    There is a shortcut to the quest log, it is like “L” or something like that not sure, it is in the key mappings. I hate the page flipping as well but the shortcut is there. I would have to be at home to remember the key however I do it by instinct and now I have no idea what I press ha ha

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  2. Graktar

    You can modify what ‘services’ are displayed on your minimap. I don’t know if yellow dots are removable, or just all quest dots as I never played with that feature, but its possible you could get rid of the yellow dots as you desire.

    I think Mythic is targeting the established MMO gaming market rather than trying to draw new players to the genre which is why there’s no real tutorial. The game naturally ramps up, spoon-feeding you new features as you progress through the game, so anyone who can grasp the basic functions of the game will do fine. A complete newcomer would probably be lost though, so some sort of tutorial might be wise (maybe an offline one like EQ launched with, anyone remember that?)

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  3. UFTimmy

    Everyone does get a reward for a public quest. For each chapter you have an influence bar on the right hand side. Doing a PQ enough times fills that bar up, and allows you to select rewards from the rally master. In most cases doing it 2-3 times is enough.

    Also, if you only did the first PQ or two in the zerg fest you did not see the true fun of them. PQs are fun. But they’re really fun when you have the right number of people. Too many and it’s no challenge, and lower influence. Too few and you can’t complete but the 1st, maybe 2nd stage. But the right number? It’s a challenge, but possible, and the rewards in exp and influence are great.

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  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Graktar – I remember that little off-line zone because you could rename the regular zones so that they would show up in that little demo and go exploring.

    Provided you didn’t start embedded in a wall or some such.

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  5. Melmoth

    RTFVM isn’t going to fly. (V is for virtual for those who are still in shock after following that link and finding out what the F stood for.)

    Furfuraceous?!

    Outrageous!

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  6. JoBildo

    Gotta agree that the highlighted map is genius.

    But Conan actually had it already too.

    One thing I’m worried didn’t make it into the final product is the idea that I could kill 30 bears on my way to a quest and get rewarded retroactively for it.

    Other than this broken promise (sob) I really, REALLY enjoyed my time in WAR. I just was given a way (as press) to get to the Elder servers so I’m looking forward to seeing what that has in store while we all wait for the OB to open up.

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  7. bluelinebasher

    UFTimmy is right, I found myself doing PQs to fill the bar on the right, which in turn gave you a poition, armor, and weapon depending on the level of completion.

    No RVR at all? Instanced RVR with a quest giver for exp was a nice touch. Game reminded me of WoW and Guild Wars more than DAoC, but I have yet to see a keep take either.

    The PQ loot system is by far the best improvement from Mythic. An instant /random, a scoreboard, and a bonus for contribution — and then a selection of loot that is class appropriate?! Very well done. This would add hours to any raid/quest in DAoC, and now it takes seconds.

    I’ll be honest at first sight I wanted to cancel my pre-order, but as I stumbled on things, I think I’ll give it a month or so.

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  8. p@tsh@t

    I’ve read a few things about zoning and instancing in WAR but still come away somewhat confused.

    I know you didn’t PvP (and I get that the scenarios are instanced battlegrounds), but as far as the so-called chapters and tiers, how interconnected did the world feel to you?

    Did it feel like a bunch of rooms or a completely interconnected world?

    Did you get to another Tier? if so, is that just a level restricted zone or region (i.e., imagine that you needed to be L10 to travel from Teldrassil to Auberdine).

    Probably already been discussed somewhere, but interested in your take in particular.

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  9. skeezer

    quick reply to JoBildo – the part you mentioned where you get exp for killing guys is in there. its also repeatable.

    you almost have to luck into it, or know its out there though. otherwise i think you will just level past the guy you talk to.

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  10. Grimjakk

    @JoBildo Actually that’s in there… but the Kill Collectors are looking for specific critters. If the Elf wants silk from 500 spiders, he’s not gonna be happy when you plop down a fly-blown bag full of 500 wolf spleens…

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  11. Marchosias

    Greenskins must’ve coined RTFM first, ‘cuz if the elves had the ‘F’ woulda been “Fabulous” :P

    Having played DAoC since like forever ago, RvR was nothing new, and like I’ve said many times over Mythics idea of PvP and EVE’s are my FAVORITE PvP mechanics I’ve ever played. So… Like you the things that really won me over were:

    1] The questing mechanics (red map borders with hover-hints, and appropriate rewards, never feeling like I had to have GOOGLE up and running so I could figure stuff out, etc)
    2] PQ reward system, and like others mentioned – everyone DOES get a reward, just do a few rounds and collect from the reputation reward giver.
    3] It felt like a mostly “finished” game to me, I didn’t feel like I was running out of things to do (however I only saw lower tier content so…), I never crashed, and really had no lag issues like others have mentioned – only a couple of bugs here and there – mob pathing being the most obvious, but also sounds like a quick fix since it was a new problem introduced by a botched preview weekend patch.
    4] FAR better performance under load than WoW had at release – I remember the first time I went to Hillsbarad – OMG total lagfest and only 20-30 peeps there, ugh! Nosca (??) had at least 60-80+ peeps practically “head-to-head” and was virtually lag-free from my experience (others obviously weren’t so lucky from what I hear)

    When “Open Beta” (aka, Marketing’s Last Stand) comes around I’m hopeful that none of WoW’s early issues crop up, some still present today:
    Login Queues
    Weekly Down-time (DAoC only goes down like once a quarter – if that),
    Able to handle heavily populated zones
    Content doesn’t horribly dilute as you rise in rank – Anyone remember the no quests in the very appropriately named “Desolace” Zone, I do…

    Anyways, so far I’m really liking what I saw, and I’m really looking forward to the Open Beta – Oh, and I did stay up way too late every night of Preview, LOL!

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  12. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Marchosias – I mean an immediate, tangible, something in your sweaty hands reward at the end of a public quest cycle. A few brass coins as a “thanks for playing” pat on the back if the quest is a success. I bet that gets added in at some future date due to an outcry on the official foru… oh, wait, there won’t be any official forums. Never mind.

    As for the zone Desolace in WoW, I half wish they had left it quest free. It would have saved me the 45 minute trek up there for the flight point.

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  13. Brutal

    Regarding the Quest log,
    the way the interface works , i barely used it .

    When you open the map , all the quests (for the zone you are in)
    are handily displayed on the right hand side .
    if you needed to read the quest text , you click on that and you
    go the corresponding quest page in the tome of knowledge.

    Otherwise , I moused over the red blobs on the
    map and i would know the related quest and objective .

    i barely ever bothered to open my quest log to be honest .

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  14. *vlad*

    “And the high elves… they had some sort of fairy infestation issue going on and a lot of white lion crap right out in the road where you might step in it.”

    Ha ha I fell for that one. I really thought that was true.
    It could be, though, couldn’t it!

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  15. ravious

    The first few PQs are very much like that because they are zerg’d and simple. Once you get to a PQ with 6 members in Tier 2, they get a lot more challenging and fun. My favorite is either the beach one in High Elf Tier 1, where you have to collapse back to your HE bolt throwers immediately at Phase 2 to protect them, or Battle at Blood Fen (Orc Tier 2) because it really feels like the dwarves in phase 1 are attacking you rather than just go aggro tha monster standing in the distance.

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  16. Hudson

    “Everyone does get a reward for a public quest.”

    EXACTLY. C’mon now plus you are getting Influence. UGH this review frustrates me, I had to blog about it and now that I read the comments everything I pointed out has been said.

    SIR, BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR YOU!

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  17. Fuan

    An obvious question that begs to be asked is, how well will the PQs fair in the lower and mid level content range when the majority of the player base is at the level cap? I find myself drawn back to EQ every couple years and even WoW a few months ago, and neither were half as fun as they used to be mostly because all the lower level zones were empty of players to group with. I was surprised even when I rejoined WoW that that was the case. As such, PQs seem like a fun addition, but is it going to be an exercise in futility two years from now trying to get one done? I haven’t played WAR — I’m looking forward to — I’m just curious about this.

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  18. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    “SIR, BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR YOU!”

    I have no idea what that means.

    I’ll make it simple. Net change in my inventory or wallet (i.e. tangible things, as I mentioned above) after a PQ if I do not win the big lotto: Zero.

    I think it should be something greater than zero.

    If that frustrates you, I’m sorry, but stomping your feet and talking about the WAR version of faction does not impress me a bit.

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  19. Openedge1

    Dude…don’t worry. You are fine.
    Don’t let people jump you because you did not know something happened.
    I think this is the issue that no feedback came to you that you accomplished a goal.
    LOTRO was notorious for not letting you know WHAT you can get credit for in its deed system.
    I guess we must all face the fact that WIKI is the norm for all games today, and we must wait until someone else does the dirty work so we have the answers.
    I appreciate your opinion, and it is going on my list of positives and negatives…
    So far, the positives are Open Groups and RvR, Warhammer world.
    Negatives are slow combat, oh so visuals, animations (at least for beta so far…hope this improves), too many kill 10x style quests, balance of order and chaos (which may be fixed at launch)

    Cheers

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  20. syncaine

    But Wilhelm, is a bar going up to finally give you items not basically the same as getting tokens (that take up bag space) to turn in for items? I think you are too stuck on the whole ‘in my inventory’ thing, especially since DURING the PQ you see the little influence numbers scroll as you kill stuff, with big bonuses given at the end of each phase.

    Also, while the influence rewards are just ok in the early stage, at tier two the choices were seriously good stuff (blue weapons). Influence also went up much slower, but you had 4-5 PQs per area to play with, instead of just one like the starting areas.

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  21. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Openedge1 has the core of it I think, which is feedback that people understand. After one PQ, the bar went up some. So what?

    Syncaine, frankly, I had no idea what those numbers coming up actually equated to. I don’t think I’m much more dim than average, so it isn’t a stretch to think others might not as well.

    I don’t think I will be alone in the “in my inventory or wallet” thing either. I am going to predict that, if things stay as they were in the preview weekend, you will see a bunch of reactions like:

    “I did a PQ. I got nothing. They suck.”

    And for everybody who takes the time to say something like that, a bunch more people will just think it and move on.

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  22. kierk01

    Eh, I’m gonna disagree here and go with Sync and others. There’s multiple ways to know whats going on with PQ’s:

    On the UI: Mouse over the influence bar in the top right, and get an explanation of what the bar is and how to get influence.

    In the ToK: Open up the PQ page and the first thing you see is the influence bar, showing how much you have and what items you can purchase with your influence.

    On the map: In each starting quest hub there is one guy that has an icon *bigger* than anyone elses. Talk with him and you can set your rally point or select your influence rewards…at which point again you get a list.

    More than anything though, the hook is the pop up letting you know how you placed and if you won a loot roll. Yes, you may find that you didn’t get anything *this time*, but you also know that eventually you will.

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  23. kierk01

    Eh, I should also say thought that I completely agree with you on some of the points…most notably that game needs a clock in the UI. Bad. And that the total lack of tutorials for anything is frustrating.

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  24. bluelinebasher

    You wanna talk about instant gratification, I wandered into the tail end of a PQ, hit maybe 1 mob, and bam won a loot bag despite the lack of a participation bonus. True I did stuck around to grind out some faction (guilt? nahhh), but I also stumbled on a couple other PQs as I was walking down the road that were less crowded and more difficult. As for getting nothing, you should get some loot from mobs killed, but I found looting to be somewhat tedious (did I miss an /autoloot somewhere?) for PQs when everyone is just zerging about. I definitely prefer everyone participating in a PQ than everyone needing the same mob kill count to complete a quest. 8 guys standing around for a pop and 1 gets credit? People pulling each others mobs by accident?

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  25. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Not content to just come over and hassle me in my cube are you?

    Anyway, to those who take issues with my nitpick about public quests, I’ll promise no less than what Brent did, that I will look at them again when we’re able to get back in the game in two weeks.

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  26. Fuan

    Anyone care to comment on my last question on how PQs will fare when everyone has hit the level cap? That’s the main question for me about all new MMOGs. Can they stay relevant years later? Everyone gets nostalgic now and then.

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  27. Nissl

    I agree with most everything you wrote, the PQ nitpicking above has been done to death already. I got used to the influence reward system eventually, but it was not obvious to me the first few times either. The game desperately needs a tutorial, especially for its new features; even 20 pop-ups would be good enough. You’ve nailed the combat, which seems to be the point of most contentious debate right now. It isn’t as precision-tuned and satisfying as WoW, but after 15 minutes I wasn’t thinking about it, whereas in launch LOTRO it was pretty much game-breaking for me.

    I have to agree that I didn’t really get the addicted feeling from the PVE content. Between the marked map, the infinite hearthstone, the fairly linear layout of each tier, the fact that you can queue for a scenario anywhere, the shallow crafting system and the paucity of gear (hear this was different at one point) the solo PVE is solid but feels a bit paint-by-numbers in many (though not all!) zones. It took me several tries before I got a character above level 4. I did have some great, intense experiences with PQ’s when I rolled an Empire character on the lowest-pop server, where it was typically 4-8 PC’s on the quest. All in all, though, there isn’t enough polish and novelty in WAR’s PVE game right now to recommend the game to someone who is *just* looking for an upgrade to WoW’s PVE game.

    I did, however, get an incredible addiction to the Open RVR and even scenarios. On the RVR side, maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen the system before, but the potential for long-term play is phenomenal. On the scenario side, why can’t Blizzard time-cap their maps, offer more than 4 maps total (WAR has 30+), make a map bigger than an arena and smaller/more complex than WSG, and let you queue from anywhere? Geesh. Ekrund and Khaine’s Embrace were particularly well done in the first tier.

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  28. Din A3

    Only a question, if you think WoW is so good, why do you even entertain the idea of switching to WAR? (Let alone pre-ordering a CE of it). Why don’t you stay in the game that does it all good to you?
    I get the feeling that you’re operating under the idea that you are testing the game, trying it when it comes out, as a favor to WAR fans. And since this is your blog, you’re entitled to your delusions of grandeur. But what really bugs me is that other people is buying into it, and they’re actively trying to make you see things differently.
    Which is obviously a waste of time, and what you wanted them to do in the first place.
    Anyway, happy grinding in WoW.

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  29. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Din A3 – Point out where I said WoW was so good and I will happily entertain your questions. Or are you going to argue that WoW’s interface isn’t responsive, or that WAR is so unique that nobody should ever use WoW as a comparison point? Hrmm?

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  30. bluelinebasher

    Even with a faction gripe which is probably a gripe over all MMOs (I’m looking at you EVE!!!!), the PQ auto /random loot system is aces from Mythic, anyone who’s been on any ML raid or any dungeon raid in DAoC I’m sure will agree. Lack of tutorials, a bigger problem, but I was able to fumble around and negotiate after awhile. With your experience tho, I’m more befuddled by the lack of RvR 6attempts! I know you are Mr. PvE and all — I get that, but I was hoping maybe you’d take a chance and venture out to the open RvR at least. That is the big marketing point of WAR, and RvR in DAoC was fun. This was a chance to preview RvR 2.0 in action!

    There’s now a why so serious… message when you die in RvR. Who the heck did they have to write that in for? I didn’t care for the instanced RvR as much as open (but you can get a quest for it for exp). Instanced was like any capture the flag game. Yawn. Keep take/defense was better in the DAoC battlegrounds. The open RvR was what I expected tho, trying to sneak behind enemy lines, big standoffs, all good stuff. I hope it’s something you give a go at.

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  31. Din A3

    @Wilhelm2451 – “Public Quests are really a splendid idea, but Rob Pardo could make them appear in WoW with the expansion after next (tentative title: The Lukewarm Malaise) with a mere wave of his hand and they would probably be better, faster, and hand out fabulous welfare epics to everybody who participated.”

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  32. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Din A3 – Irony is just a word in the dictionary for you, isn’t it?

    I poked Paul for the grand ego of his statement, then did a double reverse and slammed WoW.

    Or do you think talk about “welfare epics” and calling their next release “The Lukewarm Malaise” are fawning compliments?

    Reading comprehension. Look into it.

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  33. bluelinebasher

    @Fuan — Actually I’m looking forward to MMOs I can walk away from at level cap, and I think WAR has that capability. People will roll alts, and if the PQ loot reward system stays so that it is only class based there will be an allure to put your alt through the PQs for the gear at lower levels instead of just farming the high level ones and handing it down from your main.

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  34. Din A3

    It’s easy to turn a statement into an irony if it somehow backfires. Of course it’s your word against mine. But it’s obvious the tone of the post is WoW fanboish, there’s no arguing that. Otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten that much flak from it.
    Or maybe it’s all of us who are lacking reading comprehension.

    p.s.: good couple of comebacks, too bad they’re pretty much the same: “learn2read”. You could’ve shown a little more originality in the second one. Nice try, tho.

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  35. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Din A3 – Again, I ask how you can read anything but irony into what I said. I might suggest that it is you trying to cover up an unsupportable gaffe.

    WoW Fanboi-ish? I don’t think anybody but you has accused me of that. I am too much of a cynic to be a fanboi for any game, WAR and WoW included.

    As for comebacks… well, I can only work with what I am given. Perhaps if you were more creative in your comments

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  36. kierk01

    Apparently you have a pipeline to the WAR peeps Wilhelm, and they agree that there wasn’t enough gratification in PQ:

    “10) Added more loot bags in Tier 1 PQs – Boy, it’s going to be rather crowded when we launch so we just upped the loot for the Tier 1 PQs. We’ll do the same to T2 as needed. And when the rush is over, we’ll tweak downwards.”

    Quick, start asking for more stuff while you know they’re listening. (-;

    Like

  37. Fuan

    AGN: Thanks for the great link to nerfbat’s discussion about PQs.

    And bluelinebasher: thanks for your interesting perspective on it. Starting a noob from scratch on a new server and battling with high prices for armor because of all the twinking has always been a sort spot with me. I experienced it most recently on the Shadows of Dalaya EQ server.

    Like

  38. heartless_

    Ummm… this is scary… but I agree with Willhelm. I don’t in the slightest see how this is WoW fanboyish. If anything, it simply shows the effect WoW (or any other MMO that is played for any length of time) has on a player. MMOs change how players play and it is evident that Willhelm didn’t attempt to adjust to WAR, simply trying to play it as though it was WoW.

    If you want to nail Willhelm against the wall, hit him for what is obvious. He was a WAR newb in a MMO veterans body. He failed to adjust, didn’t put any effort into adjustment, and the results speak for themselves.

    Like

  39. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Well, thanks for at least helping divest me of the “WoW Fanboi” title.

    I would disagree with your criticism because what you wanted me to do was at odds with my intent.

    I wanted to go into the game with as little in the way of preconceptions about WAR and let it guide me as it would. Analyzing the noob game, the tutorial (if there is one) and how information is presented to the new player is one of those things I like to do.

    People who work on that sort of thing know all the answers to start with, so they make assumptions, take mental short cuts. In 19+ years of working in software development, I have found that if somebody writes a “how to” list for some operation that is a list of five task, there are probably at least five more assumptions or intermediate steps that need to be added for the novice user. Usually it is more.

    So I did not play like people from the closed beta, people who had learned the system, or people who read everything they could about the game. I tried to play like somebody brand new to the game. That will, after all, be a majority of the people who end up in WAR if things go well.

    Thus I ended up with comment like the fact that when I enter the game, I should be facing the first quest giver, not pointed the opposite direction.

    If you take from that “Wilhelm’s a noob,” then you aren’t getting it.

    I’m a bit shocked at the ferocity of some comments or posts on other sites. When I read my post I see it as mostly favorable. I wasn’t dying to play it 24 hours a day, but I wanted to go back and play it on Monday when it was gone.

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  40. Heartless_

    That does not in any way jive with your Public Quests > sliced bread statement. You can’t argue that you have no preconceptions and then go ahead and list one. Actually, you begin each part of your post with a preconception about the topic being covered.

    Also, your documented experience in this post is most certainly “newb”. Is there anything wrong with being a newb? Nope. Unfortunately, you seem to be taking it as a derogatory statement. It is not meant as such. You played a new game, didn’t adjust, and spent some time confused on your preconceptions about different parts of the game.

    Like

  41. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Point out where I argued I had no preconceptions and I will admit error.

    However, I wrote, as you can read above, “I wanted to go into the game with as little in the way of preconceptions about WAR and let it guide me as it would.” I did not go research and dig out details. That I had heard people raving how wonderful public quests were did not particularly alter my experience. In the end I said they were “a really splendid idea.”

    I would also ask that you point out where my preconceptions “confused” me. You seem to be projecting your own view rather than reading mine.

    What I object to is this whole “UR doing it wrong” attitude. That is all I can read into this “failed to adjust” statement you have made. Adjust to what? Exactly what was I supposed to suddenly become after coming in contact with Warhammer Online?

    As far as I can tell, you’re cranky that I did not behave and react like people who have been in beta and who have been living and breathing the game for months if not years.

    That isn’t me, and that won’t be most of the players who end up in WAR. Will you be editorializing on the sorry state of new players in WAR and how so many “failed to adjust” a week after the launch?

    Like

  42. Heartless_

    You know what kind of people annoy me the most in the IT field?

    The people that click through all the little warning pop ups on their computer and then turn around and ask why Program X isn’t working. Then, when you go to help them they just click through the boxes again and go ‘see doesn’t work, fix it’.

    Anyways, lets list some statements that might show you have a preconceived idea about something in WAR.

    “This is one of the things over which everybody has been fawning and making claims like:
    Public Quests > Sliced Bread”

    All evidence points to the fact that you believed this and that when Paul Barnett failed to materialize in your bedroom and walk you through your first PQs, you felt underwhelmed by the experience. Not to mention you admitted to viewing it like a WoW battleground. Sure sounds like preconceived to me and sure the hell sounds like you never bothered to read any of the ToK, PQ, or Open Group pop-ups.

    “Tome of Knowledge
    One of the two features being held up as the future of MMORPG design, I can see the point.”

    Obviously you had some preconceived idea of the ToK or you wouldn’t have a “point” to see.

    “Having gotten into EverQuest in 1999, the transition into the game was not so bad.”

    An MMO veteran. Unless you magically deleted part of your brain, some sort of “idea” had to exist as to how the game was going to work.

    “War is certainly everywhere. Let’s hear it for truth in advertising.”

    Again, you had an idea of what to expect and in this case found that expectation to be fulfilled.

    “I happened to play WAR, then WoW, then WAR again at one point over the weekend, so I had a pretty solid comparison in the responsiveness of the UI.”

    Comparisons rock man. OK, so this last one isn’t that much of a preconception, but it goes along with the idea that you didn’t really adjust from whatever WoW (or other games) have taught you to believe.

    No, you didn’t go and find out the details, but again that is half the point, you didn’t seem to really want to and expected the game to deliver them for you. That is a valid criticism if you truly believe the game didn’t deliver enough of the detail to you, but that doesn’t jive with your statements at all. You honestly expect any of us to believe Mr. 1999 Everquest player couldn’t figure out the shortcut to a quest log? Seriously? At least show us some evidence you tried and maybe we’ll all magically ignore your posts from now on.

    Truth is, you wanted to play WAR as though you were a newb, but you aren’t a newb. No matter what the game does, your preconceived ideas of what would be good for a new player will always trump them.

    Like

  43. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    You know what I hate, people who argue with what they THINK you said, not with what you said.

    Again, the preconceptions thing. I asked where I said I had none. Instead you pointed out a bunch of preconceptions. I hate to use the “learn to read” response, but you’re just not getting there.

    You can also add to the things I hate when people have to color their arguments (usually because they are weak) with strong imagery. Such and such is a “sin” or “people that click through all the little warning pop ups” to try to build the false analogy.

    As for the whole “not adapting” thing, I still don’t get what you are after. I let the game lead me where it would. Despite what you may imagine, it is entirely possible to do that. I have done it with other games and have written about it here. Why do I have to “prove” anything?

    Quest log? It’s a bit buried in the ToK. Could have I opened up the key binding window to see what keys were bound by default to what action? Sure. It is a common feature in games. Did I? No. Did the game suggest it? No. Was it one of the tips of the day I saw? No. Were there a bunch of little warning pop ups? Not on my screen. Was it thus obvious that such a key existed? Negative.

    Can I play a game like somebody who has never seen an MMO before? No. Can I evaluate software as somebody new to the software? People do it all the time. I do it all the time. It takes a bit of a literalistic mindset, you have to do exactly what the software tells you as opposed to doing what you’re pretty sure you ought to do, but is manageable.

    But when it comes down to it, I still do not understand what you are so worked up about. Is it a credibility? Do you think I did this just to slam Warhammer? I mean, seriously, what drove you to write a whole post about this? (Thus, by the way, driving a few more people to read opinions to which you appear to, in some way, strongly object.)

    I get the people who disagreed with my opinion on rewards for public quests, but you seem to have some sort of meta issue here that I do not understand.

    Like

  44. bluelinebasher

    Here’s my trivial gripe (which may fall into not adapting or not, I get dizzy reading long posts sometimes). One of the first quests is an instanced RvR one (I assume this is true for all classes as I did it in the chosen zone Norwhatever and in another one Mt Whatzisname). Why didn’t you partake? I would have been more interested on your take on the new RvR world from Mythic even with a glowing resume of Mr. PvE behind you. Games like this need the populous to RvR, think of people staying in Eve 1.0 space never venturing out. I think you said you are waiting for the release to check it out [I need to learn to read, comprehend, and remember my bad :)], so ok…but there was no pull whatsoever to take a little peek? I can’t say that bodes well for WAR if this is the norm. If Eve gave a free weekend to 0.0 space without reprocussions, would you still stay in 1.0? Anyway, I look forward to your writeup when you do venture out to RvR — and secretly hope this thread never dies…

    Like

  45. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Honestly, just following the flow of things, I never ended up in any RvR content. I didn’t avoid it, I just didn’t get there.

    But, as I said in my first post on WAR, my modest goal was to explore the character classes to help decide what I would play when the game went live, not to explore all aspects of the game. This post was what I saw while I was playing with characters.

    If I listen to you (and to Heartless), a free weekend in EVE 0.0 would consist of hours of tepid boredom in search of a few moments of action. But my goals in EVE have been impugned far worse that anything in this thread.

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  46. Heartless_

    Really? You want to tell me to “learn to read”? Aren’t we here because you failed to “learn to read” what WAR presented you?

    We disagree. That is fine. Your post stands on its own merits and I firmly believe you are stuffed full of preconceptions about WAR :) There is no need to “learn to read” when I read, quoted, and pointed out your preconceptions.

    Like

  47. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I asked where I said I did not have any preconceptions and you listed out a bunch of preconceptions. “LTR” seems appropriate in that case in my opinion.

    Like

  48. whitekitten

    Well, yeah, but these have WAR dudes on them. It’s like, a . . . RPG or similar. Also haven’t tried alt-tabbing out of WAR yet. Will experiment with that tonight.

    (You did not get free playing cards with collector’s edition?)

    Like

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